We wrapped up our term three cooking sessions with a fantastic MasterChef-style mystery box challenge with the assistance of Curtin University this week.
Third-year Nutrition and Food Science students Aaron and Kim acted as the judges with more than 30 Canning College students attending the session.
Students have refined their cooking skills during voluntary sessions that have been held throughout the term, including two sessions that were hosted by a current student and former chef, Renato, who is from Peru and Minn who is from Myanmar.
This week’s food finale challenged groups of students to create their own recipes from vegetarian ingredients that were presented in a mystery box.
Kim was surprised by the fantastic response of the Canning College students.
“I have been so impressed with the students at Canning College,” he said. “I was not expecting this level of enthusiasm and creativity from these students.”
The cooking sessions were organised by Head of Science Tony Herbert and Head of English Linda Angelone as part of the College’s student experience initiative.
Mr Herbert said he had been expecting around 12 students to attend the mystery box session and was delighted with the response.
“It was great to see so many students want to take part in the challenge,” he said. “We had four competing groups of five or six students who put their creativity to the test.
“Many of those who weren’t directly involved in the cooking, stayed to support their friends and to see the final results. It says a great deal about the friendships these students have built and their qualities as individuals.”
Mr Herbert said Canning College’s success in assisting students in their transition into university studies was more than simply applying high academic standards in the classroom.
“Engaging students in the process of teaching and learning is so important in achieving positive outcomes,” Mr Herbert said. “We want all our students to achieve the results they need to progress into the university and degree course of their choice.
“That requires students to work hard in the classroom and to make sure they are revising and studying throughout the year. But it is also important that they understand the need to balance work with enjoyment and relaxation.
“Exams are coming up and students are understandably focused on studies but it’s so important that they also have time to engage in other activities.
“These cooking sessions allowed students to switch off from their academic work for a couple of hours a week, to learn new skills and to have fun. The response has been exceptional.”
The regular cooking sessions gave students opportunities to learn about food preparation and the value of teamwork. It also resulted in delicious meals for students to enjoy each week.
Students improved their cooking skills and applied them in the mystery box session with wonderful results.
Dr Katya Clarke from Curtin University was supportive of further involvement in the Canning College program, including making the mystery box activity a regular event.